10 Things To Know About PIH

10 Things To Know About PIH

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, is one of the most common skin concerns affecting people with darker skin. Simply put, PIH refers to the dark marks or spots left behind after an inflammatory wound heals. This discoloration is the skin's natural response to healing from inflammation, and the darkened marks it leaves behind can be even more upsetting than the wound that caused it. PIH is most often blamed on acne, but it can have other causes as well. Why do those dark spots develop, and how can you get rid of them? Read on to learn ten essential facts about PIH, and the cutting-edge aesthetic treatment that can restore your skin to an even-toned, natural, and smooth complexion. 

10 Facts About PIH

  • PIH develops when a wound or irritation, like a scrape, rash, or pimple, causes the skin to become inflamed. As the skin heals, it produces melanin, the protein that gives skin its color. It's the excess melanin that leaves behind the dark spots we recognize as PIH.
  • Unlike the scarring that results from acne and other skin conditions, PIH usually looks like a flat area of discoloration on the skin. 
  • PIH ranges in color from white, pink, red, purple, brown, or black, depending on your skin type and the severity of the discoloration.
  • PIH can develop in all skin types, but it tends to be more apparent and longer-lasting for people with medium to dark complexions.
  • Most people with acne have some degree of PIH which can result from larger blemishes and minor pimples alike. More inflamed breakouts tend to produce larger and darker PIH spots.
  • Picking or popping a pimple increases the chance of developing PIH, simply because you're increasing inflammation.
  • There are other causes of PIH, such as sunburns, chemical peels, dermabrasion, and laser resurfacing. Darker skin is especially at risk of PIH resulting from incorrectly applied aesthetic treatments.
  • Though PIH can fade away without treatment over time, it doesn't always do so on its own. In some cases, it's permanent without aesthetic intervention.
  • PIH will take longer to fade depending on how dark the spot is compared to the surrounding skin. The greater the contrast between the spot and your natural skin tone, the longer it will take to fade.
  • PIH affects both men and women equally.

A Note About Sun Protection And PIH

The importance of sun protection should not be overlooked regarding PIH. Protecting your skin from the sun is integral to preventing the formation of dark spots, and prevent the ones already present from getting darker. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 daily is vital, as are other measures such as avoiding the sun and wearing protective clothing. This is especially important for people with darker skin, who may be under the impression that they don’t need to wear sunscreen. Suncare is necessary at all times to prevent hyperpigmentation in general, and also as part of any aesthetic aftercare program.

Effective Treatment Of PIH For People With Darker Skin

For a long time, treating PIH in people of color presented unique challenges, and older aesthetic technologies often fell short of producing a visible improvement. For example, in some cases, laser treatments don’t work because the laser can’t distinguish between healthy and discolored skin. In addition, some energy- and light-based procedures that target melanin can even worsen PIH in patients with darker skin types. But there’s good news. Advances in radio frequency-based skin resurfacing technology mean it is now both safe and effective for darker skin tones.

Venus Viva™ skin resurfacing treatments work with tiny pins that safely deliver heat through the skin’s surface using NanoFractional RF™ technology. This creates tiny micro-dermal wounds, which the body naturally heals on its own. This process repairs signs of skin damage visible on the surface of the skin, including PIH. Since the wounds are so small, the treatment is much more comfortable than traditional lasers and other treatments previously used. The treatment is safe, comfortable, and fast. It works to lift the discoloration from PIH for visible results that only get better with each successive treatment. You only have to visit our before-and-after photo gallery to see some of the incredible transformation people have experienced from a Venus Viva™ treatment. 

Skin resurfacing treatments with Venus Viva™ can also target other skin imperfections. Speak to your treatment provider about enhancing your treatment plan with the DiamondPolar™ applicator, which diminishes fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. The DiamondPolar™ applicator uses Multi-Polar Radio Frequency and Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields to naturally boost collagen and elastin production deep within the skin’s layers. The result is smoother, firmer skin that looks noticeably more youthful.

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